When it comes to writing a resume, you should be strategic about the words you use. You need to avoid the most overused phrases and instead use other more creative alternatives.

If you are a student and it is your first resume, you should also pay special attention to your education and extracurricular sections. Make sure you avoid mentioning that you were using essay writing services like online essay writing service or similar platforms to get help with your studies. But if you used to work for one, go ahead and write about it in detail. 

Phrases that you should avoid using in your resume

1. Team-player

This is the most overused phrase. You should find a way to demonstrate that you are a team player indeed. If you have collaborated with other people before to achieve a goal, then that is what you should write on the resume instead of that vague phrase. And you should be detailed about what you achieved in that teamwork.

2. Good communication skills

‘Communication skills’ is a broad field. This is why writing that phrase can make the recruiter lose interest in you. If you have used communication skills to contribute to something or you have created a presentation or press release, then that is what you should specify on your resume.

3. Proven track record

Instead of writing that phrase, prove it. Explain what you did to attain that track record and be specific and make sure to quantify your impact. “I brought twenty new clients which led to a fifty thousand profit in 2010” is more impressive than the phrase “I have proven track record”. It will also make your resume stand out from the rest.

4. Problem solver

Problem solvers have preferred hence the reason why everyone states this phrase on their resume. There is a better way to express this. Reveal to your recruiter the issue that you solved. Whether you fixed a problem with a client, optimized a troubled schedule, or solved a dispute at work, let your recruiter know and you must be specific in order to stand out.

5. Helped in some task

You may not have been the lead on a certain project but using the word “helped” ruins your resume. You need to mention what you did. Whether you prepared a sales report or an inventory, indicate that on your resume and avoid the word “helped”.

6. Firm work ethics

Firm work ethics sounds awesome, but so many people use that cliché. You need to better your resume by indicating how you are able to go the extra mile. If you met a very strict deadline or took lessons to improve your skills, then that is what you should mention on your resume. Let the recruiter know what makes you an employee with a firm work ethic.

7. Bottom line focused

This is another phrase that is used very often and currently, it is meaningless. You need to demonstrate what you did that contributed to the bottom line of your workplace. You must also quantify this skill by listing the amount of time, money, and resources you added or saved.

8. Responsible for this and that

Every person is responsible for something at work, whether they are a CEO or a janitor. This phrase should be avoided and instead, you should mention the position that you held at work and the things that you did to make the company successful. This will make your resume more powerful and more exact.

9. Self-motivated

You are only trying to tell the recruiter that you are not a slacker that clocks out at three daily. Unfortunately, this phrase will not put your point across. Look for a way to prove that you are indeed self-motivated. If you overhauled a damaged inventory system or came up with a unique way of expanding your sales, then that is what you should indicate on the resume. A self-motivated person is able to come up with creative ways of improving what they have been given.

10. Used to a fast-paced environment

A fast-paced working environment is where people do a lot of work for little money. You should be specific. For instance, analyze your busiest day at your previous job. Identify the things that you accomplished and how you adapted to the obstacles that you encountered. Having that achievement on your resume will prove that you can easily adapt whenever you get challenged.

11. Results Driven

Most resumes begin with “results-driven”. The problem here is that during a job search, you do not want to sound like everybody else. To stand out from the rest of the job seekers, you should try other phrases like “performance-driven”.

12. Successful

This word is also overused. Everyone wants to show how successful they have been so that the recruiters can think highly of them. The word successful can be replaced by other words like “award-winning”, “top performer” or “best in class”.

13. Dependable and dedicated

These words are so boring. You need to spice up your resume with other creative words like “quality-driven”, “high-potential” or “dynamic”.

14. Self-starter

If you are not a self-starter, you should not be looking for a job. Every job seeker should be ready to work without being pushed. Writing on your resume that you are a self-starter indicates that you do not have any meaningful information or you are not qualified for the job. You need to write real examples that prove that you can go the extra mile.


There is no employer that wants to see reiterated job descriptions. They want to know what you can do to improve your previous job.